The Birth of Eastend Homes

EastendHomes is proposing to amend the way it is supposed to run by changing what is known as the Memorandum and Articles.

The Current Memorandum and Articles can be traced back to its roots in 2002 when Paul Bloss, then working for the Council presented his report “EastEndHomes – Objects and Articles of Association to Cabinet. He said……

“Membership of the company will be open to all tenants and leaseholders of EastEndHomes. The liability of members will be limited by the Memorandum of Association to a minimal sum. This is usually £1”.

“In effect EastEndHomes will be collectively owned by its membership. Control of EastEndHomes will be exercised through the Board of the organisation”.

Read the full report here

Plenty of words about empowerment, involvement and devolution of responsibilities. In the hairball of legalise in the current Mems & Arts the words “Community Trust” appear 170 times.  In the new proposed document sum total for  “Community Trust” is zero!

At around the same time we were bombarded by information from all sides about the joys and pitfalls of stock transfer. The council side of things was piped to us via the Open House magazine. In issue 7 – June 2002  Paul Bloss, Assistant Director of Housing writing on the new organisation said:

The whole structure of the organisation will be designed to give local people genuine control over the way their estates are managed. Residents from each estate that opts to work with EastEndHomes will be able to choose how much local involvement and responsibility for the management of their homes that they wish to take on.

“The organisation would be completely accountable to residents, and they would have real control over the services they receive.”

In Open House issue 9 – November 2002 Cllr David Edgar (Lead for Housing) could hardly contain his excitement when he said about the new organisation:

It is exciting because it really does allow for local decision making and a higher level of resident control than we see with the council and traditional social landlords.

Click for large version

Promises…… Promises….What we were told.

From the Eric & Treby Estate Exhibition Questionnaire – 13th December 2003 (prior to the vote) – to inform residents of progress made on the “master plan” (See the image to the right). This is what they showed us. Look at all that open space. (click image for large version). Not what we have now.

Improvements to the bridge

No “bookend” buildings on the ends of English Street. No six storey private development  on Ennerdale car park. No seven storey private block on the end of Loweswater (they did want higher but were knocked back by LBTH planning) and not a hint of the six storey slab that is site 15 on Hamlets Way.

In the same document we were told that “please note we do NOT propose to demolish the garages below the ramp

Who would have voted for transfer to EEH if they knew the true extent of the over development.

Click image to read letter

To counter claims by vote no campaigners Maureen McEleney (Director of Housing Management) wrote to us all in May 2004 to “put the record” straight saying:

“There will not be luxury flats all over the estate. A small amount of redevelopment is proposed in areas where this will help counter anti social behaviour.”

Read letter here

I wonder what the “Bow Trinity” marketing crew in the Telfords sales suite say about that.

Truth is we got 179 new “units” on Eric & Treby – 50 total new build social housing minus 29 demolished social “units” making a net gain of 21 real affordable homes for local people. The remaining 129 “units” will be sold for profit by Telfords.  Any cash from an “overage” agreement on sales will be given to EEH. But don’t hold you breath for any massive cash injection we are after all talking here about a deal between a hard nose business operation and a bunch of cotton wool protected ex council technocrats.

As time went on the LBTH caretakers made a few extra bob in overtime scraping off any dissenting posters from the estate.

And on to the vote….

Paul Bloss (now as Shadow Chief Executive of EastendHomes) told us in the worthless offer document:

“Our approach from the start has been to put you the residents in control of the process of developing proposals for the regeneration of your estates and the setting up of a new local housing service”.

Stock transfer was (and still is) is a politically contested policy, with tenants more often than not presented with conflicting stories (or narratives) as to the likely consequences, for them, of transfer.

At the time residents were encouraged to be passive learners, and to internalise narratives (whether pro- or anti-transfer) and discouraged from critical thinking.

It seems incredible we were never told how much Eastend Homes were to pay for our estates in spite of the fact that this issue has a major impact upon the business plan and its formal offer to tenants.

So residents as recipients of mis/no/information that is deposited in them by so called experts went off to vote in May 2004.

Read all “Open House” archives here – produced by Tower Hamlets Housing Services to keep residents informed on the progress of Housing Choice.

The Housing Choice programme was run by none other than Mr Paul Bloss (CEO of EastendHomes) in a manner which polarised our community and did more to aid the “No to Transfer” lobby than he would care to admit (assuming he would allow such thoughts to enter his bubble of conciousness)